As we approach the end of December, we naturally start to reflect on the year past, how we spent our time, and the impact we may have had. These reflections and assessments we do at the end of each year are similar to some of the reflections we do as we approach the end of our lives.
When we reach the end of life, however long we have lived, our life was important. Our relationships, how we lived, what we have done for yourself and for others...all of this defines us.
Keeping this in mind, legacy work is what I love. To me, one's legacy is about capturing what they love and gifting it back to those they love. It is one's essence--the best of them.
Because there is something special and unique about all of us, there are endless possibilities to a legacy project. It can be anything about a person. It could be their dedication to a cause, the love they had for their children and the way they expressed that love, it could be the example (good or bad) they set in life...whatever it is, it is unique to only that person. One's legacy is the ripple in the pond or the wave in the ocean that they create. It is the love you give and receive that creates a legacy.
Legacy work can be done at any point in one's life. You can work on projects by yourself or with others. Legacies can be private or public. The point is that even after we die, our impact on this world and those we leave behind in it continues on. Legacy work can continue on after you die or be created in one's death.
Legacy gifts often brings us peace when grief fills our hearts. It is the last gift you can give, and a gift that lives on. When you think of the legacy you wish to leave behind, remember to be kind to yourself and others.
If you would like help to understand what type of gift your legacy project could look like, an end-of-life doula like myself can help!
Anyone interested in becoming death doula can register for HHA's death doula certificate program here. The next available training weekend is January 26-28, 2024.
Jody Thomson is a graduate of HHA's death doula certificate program.